Everyone has a story to tell! This course is designed to help you find your story and writing voice, while teaching writing techniques through deconstructing the work of authors that came before you. In the first half of this course, we will read work by authors of fiction, nonfiction and poetry with an eye for how each writer is crafting his or her unique voice. We will attempt to deconstruct these style of writing into easily replicated literary tools, such as the use of alliteration, repetition, a specific structure, etc. Through deconstructing these texts, you will not only become familiar with the tools used by each author, but you will gain an understanding of how stylistic choices create specific literary effects. We will also attempt to get into the mindset of each author by exploring biographical information that may have shaped his or her style. After becoming familiar with each author’s work, we will attempt to compile a “tool box” for each style that may be used as a reference for students to write their own original work that in some way echoes each author’s voice. We will also turn to interviews/paintings/the great outdoors in order to find inspiration for our own written work.
In class discussion, we will attempt to answer questions like: What does it mean to be an artist? And: What kind of social responsibility do artists have? At the end of this course, you will be challenged to consider each author’s writing tools, to determine which of their techniques works for you, and then to discard all of the rest. You will then attempt to write in your own style- whatever that may have morphed into.
In the second half of this course, we will attempt to write a collaborative story. Students will discuss and agree upon an overarching plot for a collaborative story. After dividing up the plot points, student will write their own complementary narratives. You will also have the opportunity to edit one-another’s work and receive detailed feedback from myself and your fellow classmates.
*Class fee is recommended but not required. I will not turn away eager writing students due to insufficient funds.
*This course is open to all levels of writers.
Instructor biography: I taught Advanced Fiction at Stony Brook University for three years before moving to Portland. My work has been published in literary magazines including: The Southampton Review, Rumpus Literary Magazine, The Missouri Review, AGNI, and Ploughshares.